About That Batumi Miracle…

Uncle Volodya says, "Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."

Uncle Volodya says, “Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”

Hey, remember back when Al Jazeera was the object of loathing and fear in the USA? Bankrolled by the Emir of Qatar – a thriving democracy in the Middle East whose ruler has been a male member of the Al Thani family since 1850 – Al Jazeera was once described by American media as “a mouthpiece for terrorists”, “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American”. It earned the anti-Semitic tag honestly enough, broadcasting an on-air birthday party organized by Al Jazeera’s Beirut bureau chief for a Lebanese militant convicted of killing four Israelis, including a four-year-old girl. And considering it was the outlet which carried Sheik Qaradawi’s weekly program, “Sharia and Life” and Sheik Qaradawi “extended his Koranic blessing to suicide bombing against American civilians in Iraq”, you could make an argument that it earned the anti-American tag honestly as well.

No more, though – all water under the bridge, let bygones be bygones. The outlet’s managers could not now be more pro-American, as this gushing testimonial to Mikheil Saakashvili’s appointment as Odessa’s governor attests. Penned by former United States Army officer Luke Coffey, it is a progressive tongue bath of Saakashvili that is almost embarrassing to read, kind of like watching a bizarre peep show featuring repugnant sex. Unless you’re an admirer of the former Georgian president, of course, in which case it is only his due as the Caesar Of His Time; render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.

Coffey pitches a quick little historical vignette, describing how observers and analysts should not be surprised at Poroshenko’s appointment of a foreigner to lead Odessa, since that was de rigeuer back in 1803. Two French noblemen were appointed during this period, the first by Tsar Alexander himself, as governors of Odessa. These appointments join wife selling, tobacco smoke enemas, lobotomy and the Divine Right of Kings as examples of a progressive society, for the period in which they were common.

But when you top that historical precedent with Mikheil Saakashvili’s success in fighting corruption and improving the Georgian economy, why, as Mr. Coffey avers, the appointment “makes perfect sense”.

Mikheil Saakashvili’s success in fighting corruption and improving the Georgian economy; my, yes. Let’s take a look at that. Especially as Mr. Coffey avers that President Poroshenko appointed Misha specifically to clean up corruption in Odessa; you may want to keep an eye on that, see how he’s doing, from time to time. Mr. Coffey must have had an affectionate little smile on his face as he thought about Misha’s charisma, he positively oozes it. And energy, too – he’s engaging, and “has endless amounts of energy”. I think I can explain that last bit, as his increasingly porcine appearance suggests he is living on a diet of candy bars. Corruption-fighting by Cadbury.

Some more licking follows, as Saakashvili is described as a visionary who gravitated to Ukraine because it was the only way he could help the country of his birth that for some unaccountable reason wants to arrest him for corruption and various other allegations. Yes, you heard it here first: “…he understands that the geopolitical reality of the Black Sea means that a secure Odessa is a secure Georgia. For him, this is part of his destiny”. Jesus wept; I don’t know if I can finish this.

Mr. Coffey is fond of statistics to back up his claims, and that’s good. According to him, the Index of Economic Freedom – compiled by a conservative right-wing Washington think tank and an ideological conservative newspaper – just loves Mikheil Saakashvili for how easy he made it to do business in Georgia. And it hardly needs saying that Transparency International – supported by Shell International, Microsoft, Google, BP and General Electric, among others – saw him as a mythic corruption-fighter of epic proportions, like Batman, The Flash and Diogenes all rolled into one charismatic, energetic package.

I wonder what those organizations think of the current Georgian President. He does not seem to get a mention, nor does the government of Bidzina Ivanishvili, who headed the Georgian Dream party that knocked the charismatic corruption-fighting dynamo off his perch. Because Saakashvili’s crime-fighting spree coincided with record unemployment in Georgia: it was 12.6% when he took office, zoomed to nudge 17% under his able command, and was still 15% when he was ignominiously kicked out of office. It’s back down to 12.4% now. But Mikheil Saakashvili is credited with being “the one reason Georgia did not become a failed state”. You can’t see me, but I am doing that fingers-down-the-throat gagging thing.

Similarly, Georgia’s per-capita GDP is currently at a record high. So are monthly wages , which reached their record low in 2007, while Saakashvili was apparently too busy fighting corruption to look after his subjects. Wages in manufacturing – a critical component in national self-sufficiency –  same story: record high at present, record low under the Cadbury Dynamo. So weary from fighting corruption around the clock, it escaped his attention that his Defense Minister had started up an offshore business in his own name which roared from a paltry $8 Million and something USD in turnover in 2009 – the year he started it up – to nearly a Billion in 2012, three years of non-stop, rolling-in-moola corruption right under Saakashvili’s nose. The profits before taxes (taxes, ha, ha) that year amounted to more than $51 Million USD. That year, the per-capita GDP for Georgia – what your average Georgian would have to live on and support his family for a year, adjusted for purchasing power – was $6,322.50 USD.

But don’t let my stage-setting implant any preconceived notions, as we step uncritically and with open minds into the showpiece of Saakashvili’s renaissance of the Georgian economy – The Batumi Miracle.

“[T]he capital city [of the Adjara Region], Batumi, is booming. Foreign Direct Investment is flowing in. Five-star hotels mark the skyline. The old city has been rebuilt and preserved“, enthuses Coffey. Really? You know, I’m coming around to Mr. Coffey’s viewpoint. Mikheil Saakashvili actually is the one reason Georgia did not become a failed state. Because if he had won another term, it would have been. He saved Georgia, by getting thrown out of office.

The roof of the Batumi Trade Center – a Saakashvili project of which he laid the foundation stone himself in 2010collapsed in 2012, doing about 25,000 Lari (about $11,000.00 USD at today’s exchange rate) in damages. Fortunately it happened at night, when the building was empty.

But nothing says Sweet Smell of Saakashvili Success in Batumi – a miracle, if I may be so bold – like the Batumi Technological University. The American Technological University, as some referred to it, since it was built with American money from the Second Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation. MCC itself, if you can imagine the cheek, was unconvinced that Saakashvili’s bold plan to build a technological university was a sensible or justifiable expenditure of grant money (some of that Foreign Direct Investment cash that “flowed in”, according to Mr. Coffey). No, they argued (shortsighted fools) that building a technological university would be more likely to benefit privileged families than poor families, that the money would be better spent on addressing systemic failures in higher education, and refused to approve the project.BatumiTower

And this is where Saakashvili proved his worth as a guy who won’t be told “No”. Undaunted by the unseemly quibbling over poor people’s educational opportunities, he played the wild card that sucked all the air out of the room – our technological university will have the world’s only miniature Ferris Wheel. How do you like me now, bean-counting eggheads?

Of course it did not happen just like that; I have no idea if the Ferris Wheel was Saakasvili’s idea or the architect’s – although Saakashvili would most certainly have seen the designs – and it was not the addition of this feature that swayed the decision. But just imagine it: struggling all day with difficult technological problems, and then the glorious rush of freedom at the end of the academic day – all the students rushing for the roof, shouting “Me first!!” “No, me!!”. And then whirling around and around high above the earth…what a great way to blow American taxpayers’ money!!

Honestly; what kind of lunatic spends that kind of money on a Ferris Wheel on the roof of a technological university, in a country where the average citizen lives on about $6000.00 a year, after being told by the donors it was a stupid idea? The kind of lunatic who would be perfect for fighting corruption in Odessa, obviously.

Saakashvili opened the Batumi Technological University in 2012, just before the Georgian Dream wave rolled over him and swept him away. It was to have its first students in 2013. The incoming government studied the madcap project, and scrapped it. The new government requested proposals for improvements to the higher-education sector – just like MCC had initially suggested – and announced the intent to co-fund successful proposals with $50 million over 20 years. After spending more than $30 Million USD to build it (plus around $90,000.00 USD annually in maintenance in 2012 and 2013, Saakashvili’s ivory tower was sold for $25 Million, to be turned into a hotel.

Where a little Ferris Wheel just might be almost appropriate. Good luck, Odessa. Remember, it’s easy to ride the tiger. The hard part is getting off.

This entry was posted in Corruption, Economy, Education, Europe, Georgia, Government, Investment, Saakashvili, Ukraine and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,228 Responses to About That Batumi Miracle…

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    Are present US/Russian relationships worse than they were at the height of the Cold War?

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    Which one is the headbanger?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Bear in mind, headbangerism recognizes no national boundaries:

      • Jen says:

        The elderly gentleman should be lucky the day wasn’t windy or his hat would start rotating and propel away.

        Bit creepy to see the T-shirt with the Royal Rugrat’s portrait and the shopping-bag with the picture of his two boring parents.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Back in the day, most US citizens viewed the Royals as worthless parasites. Its amazing what a sustained PR campaign can do.

    • et Al says:

      If only they had been inhaling helium. That would be hilarious. I guess you could get the effect by simply speeding up some audio files in a sound editor.

    • Jen says:

      Well of course Putin is the “headbanger”, the photo was taken before he started stomping on the Klintonator’s head. She looks as if she would enjoy being stomped on too. At least that would eliminate her from the 2016 Presidential race.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    05.07.15: Ukrainian Navy Day, Odessa.

    That’s the Yuki navy tied up at the wharf.

    And here’s the Governor of the Odessa Province paying his respects to the valorous Ukrainian navy:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Saakashit’s picture from CENSOR.NET, which seems to check access to the site and gives the following bulletin from the Georgian criminal:

      Kremlin has ‘Bessarabia’ project. They plan to do something there – Saakashvili.

    • marknesop says:

      No shortage of rich pastry in Odessa, I see. God, he’s getting fat.

      • yalensis says:

        I have no doubt that Saakashvili leads an unhealthy lifestyle: Too much rich foods, alcohol, and not getting enough exercise.
        However, it has been reported on the blogosphere that Saak has had several liposuction procedures done (mostly at Gruzian taxpayers expense); and yet his fat cells just coming back, in droves.

        Therefore, I would submit to you that his rapid weight gain is probably an irreversible side effect of his anti-psychotic drugs. I am guessing he is a long-time user of some drug such as clozaril or haloperidol, which is prescribed for schizophrenia.

        I’m not kidding. For example, here is a list of side effects from long-term use of clozaril:

        •swelling, rapid weight gain, little or no urinating;
        Also:
        High doses or long-term use of clozapine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include uncontrollable muscle movements of your lips, tongue, eyes, face, arms, or legs. The longer you take Clozaril, the more likely you are to develop a serious movement disorder.

        Just watching videos of Saak, he DOES seem awfully twitchy.
        Therefore, in my expert medical opinion, I submit to you that he IS on clozaril, and has been for some time.
        Which means that the weight gain is irreversible and will continue to balloon him, until he is so large that he will morph into Jabba the Hutt, and then have to be rolled away.

        Meanwhile, it is now the job of the people of Odessa to continue to feed him, clothe him, and pay his liposuction bills.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    I’m alive!

    I’ve gone and joined the militia!

    I’ll be coming back soon!!!

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    Quote of the Day
    We shall only have defeated the Russians when Ukrainians and Belorussians begin to believe that they are not Russians – Adolf Hitler.

    “Wir werden Rußland nur dann besiegt haben, wenn Ukrainer und Belorussen beginnen zu glauben, daß sie keine Russen sind.”

    Five years ago a Perm NGO came under scrutiny after it had posted stickers bearing the above quote around the city:

    NGO probed over Hitler quote stickers in trams

    • The US empire succeeded where Hitler did not. All they needes was two decades of NGO work in Ukraine and Russia ignoring the whole thing.

      • marknesop says:

        Succeeded in convincing people who were born believing they were not Russians, and never believed they were Russians, that they are not Russians. Brilliant. Is that most of Ukrainians? I don’t think so. That’s why I heartily endorse the absorption of West Ukraine by Poland.

        • I would say that the percentage of those Ukrainians who hate Russia or feel that they are not part of the “Russian world” is a lot bigger now than it was in 1991. And not just in Galicia but also in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and even in Kharkov and Odessa.
          The West certainly played its part in this process while Russia did not do much to project any soft power in Ukraine.

          • Cortes says:

            The only decent thing in Norman Davies’s essay on Galicia was his teasing out of the etymology. Once upon a time I studied Hispanic matters, and was bemused to learn of a Galiicia in East/central Europe. Turns out according to Davies that the Gal/Hal part of Galicia related to salt. How glorious the heroes of Saltland must feel when their claim to fame rests not on the name of a forebear or originating tribe (Rus, France, Belgium, England, Euzkadi, Scotland, (v)Andalusia etc) but on the random existence of minerals. Glory indeed.

            • Cortes says:

              PS – is there a shittier country name than Ukraine = Borderland?

              • yalensis says:

                I don’t know, I think it sounds kind of cool.
                Like “Frontierland”.
                Sounds like a theme park!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                The Low Lands – The Netherlands?

                • Jen says:

                  “Netherlands” simply means country lower than more elevated country. The Roman terms Germania Inferior and Germania Superior are equivalent to low (or flat) land and high (or mountainous) country. These meanings have been preserved in Germanic linguistics: Low German, referring to German and related dialects spoken in northern Germany and the Benelux countries, and High German, meaning those dialects spoken in central and southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

                  Also, no offence intended to Karl but depending on who you consult, the Finnish name for Finland can mean “swamp land” (from “suomaa” meaning swamp country, or “suoniemi” meaning fen cape); or it derives in an indirect way from Proto-Baltic *źemē (“land”). There has also been the suggestion that “Suomi” might even be derived from the Proto-European term for “man” or “human”. The old Norse term “Finn” probably comes from Proto-Germanic *finthanan which refers to people finding their food rather than growing it (that is, hunter-gatherers).
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finns#Etymology
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people#Etymologies

                  I believe there’s an area in Croatia called Krajina which means frontier land.

                  If you’re looking for a shitty country name, try Chile: Wikipedia has a fair bit to say about the name’s possible meanings:

                  ” … There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile. According to 17th-century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales,[13] the Incas called the valley of the Aconcagua “Chili” by corruption of the name of a Picunche tribal chief (“cacique”) called Tili, who ruled the area at the time of the Incan conquest in the 15th century.[14][15] Another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili.[15]

                  Other theories say Chile may derive its name from a Native American word meaning either “ends of the earth” or “sea gulls”;[16] from the Mapuche word chilli, which may mean “where the land ends;”[17] or from the Quechua chiri, “cold”,[18] or tchili, meaning either “snow”[18][19] or “the deepest point of the Earth”.[20] Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile.[17][21]

                  The Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, and the few survivors of Diego de Almagro’s first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535–36 called themselves the “men of Chilli”.[17] Ultimately, Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such.[15] The older spelling “Chili” was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching over to “Chile” …”
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chile#Etymology

                • Cortes says:

                  Honduras = The Depths, which brings to mind the Mexican jibe about Central America going “de Guatemala en Guatepeor” “from Guatebad to Guateworse”

              • Moscow Exile says:

                That’s why that country has an article in English: there are numerous areas called “Borderland” in the Slavic world, but “the” Borderland is a specific one that we are all well aware of – in other words, the place is a definitive one.

                Tell that to a Yukie, though, and they won’t have it, because “the rule is…”

                They then quote me their school book English rules as regards “correct” usage of English articles, omitting to mention the numerous “exceptions to the “rules”.

                The game was given away (for me at least) when a Toronto-Ukrainian wrote on a Bandera site: You don’t say “the Canada”, right? So why “the Ukraine”?

                But you can say “the Canada”, e.g. “The Canada in which I was raised is not the Canada of today”.

                Likewise: “The England of my youth is not the England that I see now”.

                Same with names of cities: “I live in Moscow: not the Moscow in Russia but the Moscow in Texas”.

                Likewise real names: “I was talking to Alla Pugachova this morning: not Alla Pugachova the singer who always appears on stage wearing a black bin-bag, but the Alla Pugachova who works at our local gastronom“.

            • et Al says:

              Солона Украïна! I hope they like bacon…

            • bree says:

              Hmmm… Interesting, I’ve never heard the salt connection before. It certainly sounds plausible. I always thought the reason for these similarly named regions in different parts of Europe were various Celtic (Gauls = Gallis in many languages) migrations/invasions. The other weirdly located “Gallis” region being Galatia, in central Anatolia (modern Turkey). One of the many Celtic Chiefs named Brennus apparently liked it so much while he was doing some southern invading, he decided to settle there with a portion of his tribe. The Celtiberians who populated Spanish Galicia were descended from a Gaul migration as well, possibly integrating with an existing pre Indo-European group that was already living there. I have no idea if Celts/”Gallis” had anything to do with naming Ukranian Galicia, but given the vast number of Celtic tribes and their frequent migrations, it’s certainly possible. Of course that wouldn’t mean that modern (Ukranian) Galicians are descendants of Gauls to any greater extent than modern Turks living in Galatia, or modern Spaniards living in Spanish Galicia.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                What the French call Pays de Galles (Land of Gauls) the natives thereof call Cymru (pronounced /kʊmri:/ – although, depending on the preceding consonant, sometimes /gʊmri:/): it means “Land of Valleys”.

                Colliemum will wise you up on this when she returns.

                That same Canadian Banderite whom I have mentioned above once castigated me for writing “Galicia”, saying that that place was in Spain and the place about which I was writing was called “Halicia”.

                • bree says:

                  I didn’t mean to imply that it was the Celts who named these regions. The Romans did plenty of naming that stuck around to this day, and in Latin, Gaul/the gauls = Gallia/gallis. My hypothesis is that wherever Romans encountered Celtic/Gaul-like people outside of Gallia, they made up a name for the region that was derived from “Gallia” — Galicia, Galatia, for example.

                  Long after the fall of Rome, Latin remained something of an official language of Europe (among assorted upper-class types, not the majority of the population). If memory serves, Latin was the official language of France all the way till 1700s. Only around 15-20% of France knew French, most spoke various regional/local languages, like Breton (Celtic), Occitan (not sure — Italic?), Burgundian (East Germanic). Latin was pretty important for allowing communication within same states, as well as between states. Latin-based geographical names could be persistent for that reason. At least that’s my theory, it could of course be completely wrong.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Bree:
                  This online dictionary agrees with your theory.
                  Says the area was occupied by Gallish (=Gaelic) type people, so Greeks called the place “Galatia”.
                  Known mainly as the people to whom St. Paul wrote a poison-pen letter.

                  Galicia (the one in Spain) = same deal. Probably Gaelic/Celtic place name.

                  Ukrainian Galicia – not so sure about that.
                  Scholars have differing theories.
                  Some say, yeah, it’s the place name of an earlier Celtic tribe. Called something like “Khvalis” or “Getae”.
                  Others say no, the name from a Slavic word “galitsa” meaning “a naked hill” = “an unwooded hill” = “Bald Mountain”.
                  Like Russian word “golyj” – naked.
                  This dispute will probably not be settled, until somebody will have invented a time machine, and will go back to those days, to check it out.

          • marknesop says:

            In fact, Ukraine’s independence has been a failure from start to finish, and it has always been poor. It has had a chance now to see what life would be like as a satellite of the west – austerity, and more austerity, with maybe a chance for some to slip off to other parts of Europe and find good jobs, so they could nostalgically celebrate being a Ukrainian in France or Germany or England. Is that what they’re fighting for? Because the idea that Ukraine is going to become a prosperous child of the west was always a pipe dream, and making Ukrainians wealthy and comfortable was never what the west intended. The west wanted to grab Ukraine to set it against Russia, but it was rubbing up against a crocodile without realizing it and now has no idea how to control its dangerous pet.

            If Ukraine breaks apart and other nations grab for the pieces, whoever inherits them is most unlikely to try and make those pieces an economic success all on their own. Instead, they will be assimilated. That means those Ukrainians who want to work and get those good jobs are going to have to learn another language, and learn it well enough to compete for jobs with those who already speak it. I wonder if they’ve thought of that. How many Ukrainians speak German well enough to get a job in Germany? Polish? French? English? Italian?

            But nearly all of them speak Russian. Even the Nazi government.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            You can’t move for the buggers here!

            I mean Yukies.

            Nobody knows how many have fled Banderastan and come to Russia.

            And they’re not all “Putins compatriots”.

            There are plenty of draft dodgers here.

            Why haven’t they gone to Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Slovakia?

            Over 8 months ago, a colleague of mine from Bryansk told me on her return from her parents’ home there that the city was swarming with Yukies.

            • marknesop says:

              Why would they go where they can’t speak the language? Which makes you wonder why they want to join Europe. Granted, they don’t all speak the same language, but none speaks Ukrainian and I’m pretty sure none plans to learn it.

              Which reminds me; some prick said the other day – and I’m damned if I can find it now, but it was in print – that Russian is “a language nobody speaks”. I wish I could find it so I could point out to them that far more people speak Russian than speak Dutch, German, French, Italian, Polish, or Ukrainian. And whoever the snot was (perhaps it was in a comment somewhere, since a search did not turn it up), they were an English speaker. I bet they did not know the language group which would be entitled to call English “the language nobody speaks” – Mandarin, with almost three times the number of speakers as English, and a far bigger gap than the difference between native English speakers and native Russian speakers.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                ‘Twas I!

                I quoted a Telegraph knobhead whose comment I read a few years ago, in which he listed off why Russians are so despicable. Last in his list was: Finally, they speak a language which nobody can read or understand.

                In fact, I often check with Russians about the world’s most spoken languages, and they corrrectly mention Chinese, Spanish and English and Arabic. When I ask them about Russian, they are usually flummoxed and then gobsmacked when I tell them that Rusian is in 5th place.

                Native Russian speakers amount to 140 million plus – and then there are all those in former Soviet states who are fluent in Russian, not to mention the real Slavs, inheritors of “Kievan” Rus’ culture, who cod on they don’t speak Russian.

                • Jen says:

                  Portuguese is probably spoken by about as many people as Russian is, if not more so. Brazil’s population must be close to the 200 million mark by now.

                • marknesop says:

                  Well, of course I did not mean you were a prick or a snot, but the person who said it in the first place. Pity it’s not current; I should love to blast him with those figures.

            • kat kan says:

              A lot of the Trranscarpathians did go to Hungary — where they are treated as asylum seekers, ie not (illegal) economic migrants or tourists. Latest official figures are about 900,000 gone to Russia, excluding about 10,000 who have applied for citizenship and resettlement there. And unknown number who just went to stay with relatives, without registering anywhere.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Succeeded?

        So Russia has been defeated by the USA?

    • kirill says:

      A rather retarded fixation based on nothing more than ethnic hate for Russians. These idiot ubermenschen can’t admit that Russia does not need dead weight like Ukraine to be a great power, nay superpower.

      It should be Russia building a wall to separate itself from Banderastan. Make sure to put heavy automated machine gun systems every 30 meters and rows of layered minefields. Let these backstabbers eat EU cake.

      • marknesop says:

        I wouldn’t endorse that, because Ukrainians are brother Slavs and I am in the camp which believes Russia will get as much of Ukraine back as it wants. The Russia-haters are the very loud and mouthy minority.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          A brother with borderline personality disorder who rants about how much he hates living at home and can’t wait to go and live with his much cooler new friends (who keep finding excuses for why he can’t move in just yet), and spends every weeknight getting shitfaced before smashing up the furniture and pissing in the sink. He ends the evening in handcuffs, facedown on the carpet, pathetically weeping at how cruel his family is to him, swearing up and down that he’ll go to rehab and get his life back on track.

          But, a brother all the same.

          • marknesop says:

            Family is tough; but home is a place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

          • et Al says:

            At some point, most of them grow up, get married and have kids. Or not.

            I think the thing is that at the moment it looks like a total loss, but so did Russia in the 1990s. Time is on Russia’s side so while on the one hand they can and should highlight all the evil coming out of Kiev, they are still making distinctions between that political class and its supporters and the rest of the country.

            That we see reflected in Russia bending over backwards when it strictly doesn’t have to. Why are the Russians still offering to sell gas at a discount price to the Ukraine? Blackmail? Leverage? Some would say. Because it affect all Ukrainians. There are plenty of other nasty things they could do but they don’t. Kiev, its supporters, and most importantly all those in the middle who don’t know what the hell is going on are discovering that the West’s promises are just that, promises and nothing more. There will be no free milk and honey, no quick entry in to the EU, no massive bailout or debt haircut, not jobs saved etc. etc. They will be ground down to their wits end, betrayed and cheated by those in the West that claim to love them, but no cold, hard cash.

            Russia need only temper their own actions, offer encouragement to the reasonable, and let time do the rest. Let’s see how long Banderites’ passions will last when there is nothing left and nothing left to offer.

            It’s the long game, something that the West neither has the political, economic or intellectual(!) will to commit to seriously as we have seen since the end of the Cold War. It has all been about quick and easy victories followed by impatience and irritation once domestic political capital has been spent.

            Poor, dumb Russia, hitching itself further to growing Asia. What a loss! Except that is exactly what the West is also trying to do, the EU rapidly trying to finalize bilateral deals with the ASEAN countries before year end after which bloc to bloc negotiations are the only option.

  6. The NAF withdrew from Shirokino as a gesture of good will. At least this is an official story:

    MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Unilateral withdrawal of forces by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) from the settlement of Shirokino located at the line of engagement in Donbass was a gesture of good will ahead of another meeting in Minsk, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko told journalists on Sunday. “Ahead of the Minsk meeting, we have made a gesture of good will and demonstrated that problems can be settled by political means. We have turned from the conflict zone to a zone of peace,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying. He said the situation in Shirokino was monitored by representatives of the Joint Centre for Coordination and Control (JCCC).

    Earlier on Sunday, DPR Defence Minister Vladimir Kononov he hope the Ukrainian command of the force operation in Donbass would follow DPR’s lead and withdraw its troops from Shirokino. “We hope common sense would get the upper hand with the Ukrainian side. We, on our part, have already pulled put our troops. We don’t want to waste the lives and health of our servicemen,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.

    On July 1, the DPR authorities announced unilateral demilitarization of the settlement of Shirokino. By today, all DPR militias have been withdrawn from this settlement. This fact has been confirmed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    • So DPR first ordered its troops to withdraw from Shirokino (which they held) as a “gesture of good will”. The Kiev junta naturally immediately captured Shirokino after the NAF abandoned it.

      Now DPR announced Shirokino as a demilitarized zoen and is now asking Kiev to “respect” its status as a demilitarized zone. Who thinks the Kiev will now, as a gesture of good will, move its troops and artillery away from Shirokino?

      The DPR unilaterally withdrew from Shirokino because another Minsk meeting is approaching. They want to show to the OSCE that we are the good guys in this conflict. They believe that this will win the sympathy of the West on their side.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Bet that’s cheered you up!

      • Patient Observer says:

        Yes we poor Russophiles only have these stories like these to cling to:
        http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/barrack-obama-tells-another-whopper-he-did-not-create-12-8-million-jobs/
        The US economy continues to sink faster than the Titanic in spite of having all sorts of advantages such as reserve currency status. Apples to apples (or fish heads to fish heads) Russia seems to enjoy a healthier economy in spite of all the shit the West can throw at it.

        At the end of the day, its the strength of the economy and hope for a better future that matters. Russians support their government at 89% levels while the US population express cynicism towards its government and believe that the future will be worse than the present. Sorry to burst your bubble of Western superiority/invincibility (not really).

        The West can feel good about the mess it made in the Ukraine (a Cold war objective) but seems oblivious (or helpless) regarding the global shift in military and economic power.

        • Why are you answering my post about NAF retreating from Shirokino as a gesture of good will with US economic news? I hope the US economy sinks as well but it has nothing to do with this.

          I would love to be wrong but my latest assumptions about the war in Donbass have proved to be right.

          • marknesop says:

            Your latest assumptions about the Donbas were (1) The NAF is retreating, (2) They can’t hold their ground, (3) Their situation is hopeless, (4) They might as well surrender and accept Kiev’s terms, and maybe some of them will be allowed to live, and (5) Russia is weak. Which of those has proved to be right? Proved, not assumed.

        • yalensis says:

          I like Stockman’s writing style. That first sentence is a classic:

          America is better off when President Obama is out on the stump bloviating and boasting rather than in Washington actively doing harm.

          “bloviating and boasting” – great alliteration

      • kat kan says:

        Actually Kiev did NOT move in. They were afraid it’s a trap. A few walked around but they don’t want to move in. OSCE found a lot of abandoned ammunition which they suspect may be mined or booby trapped, so UAF is definitely staying out. Also it is Azov there, not UAF, and they are even less brave unless it is long-distance artillery action, to the point of refusing to take part even in joint de-mining as proposed by OSCE.

        Azov had the heights to the west, so DPR was just getting rained on with shells for nothing, they may as well pull out, save a few lives and limbs of their own, and look good for the talks.

        • Hmm, why does the article then have the following part:
          “Earlier on Sunday, DPR Defence Minister Vladimir Kononov he hope the Ukrainian command of the force operation in Donbass would follow DPR’s lead and withdraw its troops from Shirokino.”

          Kononov is asking Ukraine to “withdraw its troops from Shirokino” which would mean that Kiev troops are there now.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear katkan:
          Good points. A tactical withdrawal is not (necessarily) the same as a grand betrayal.

  7. Warren says:

    Published on 2 Feb 2015
    About the Speech:

    The Ukrainian conflict raised fears in Europe about the security of EU gas supplies and Russia’s use of energy for political leverage. In this speech, however, Edward Lucas argued that a mild winter and robust EU policy have blunted the edge of Vladimir Putin’s most effective foreign-policy tool: the politicised export of gas. Contrary to some expectations, gas has continued to flow to Europe, the EU has refocused on energy security and Russia has cancelled its controversial South Stream project. Edward Lucas considered the next steps for European policymakers and whether a new energy strategy can be expected from Moscow.

    About the Speaker:

    Edward Lucas is a renowned expert on energy security and the author of numerous books on Russia and Eastern Europe. He has more than 30 years’ experience reporting on the countries of central and Eastern Europe for the Economist, the BBC and the Independent. He was formerly the Economist’s Moscow Bureau Chief and Editor of its International section. He is the author of ‘The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West’, which argues that the Kremlin has used its energy wealth to strengthen at home and extend power abroad. He is a non-resident fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, DC.

    Published on 25 May 2015
    Day 1 – Russia’s Natural Gas Production & Export Policy

    Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, Head Oil & Gas, Energy Research Institute Russian Academy of Sciences

  8. et Al says:

    Financial Crimes – to the Right of Ghengis Khan, but to the Left of Hitler!: Why the Yes campaign failed in Greece

    Tsipras’s opponents made serial misjudgments, from the petty to the monumental

    The biggest was the clearly concerted intervention by several senior EU politicians, who said that a No vote would lead to Grexit, a Greek exit from the eurozone. One of them was Sigmar Gabriel, the German economics minister and SPD chief. He even doubled up on this threat right after the results came out. The Greeks correctly interpreted these threats as an attempt to interfere in the democratic process of their country. The news last week that eurozone officials tried to suppress the latest debt sustainability analysis of the International Monetary Fund did not help either. The IMF report essentially revealed that the Greek government had been right after all to demand debt relief. The rest of the EU gave the impression that it wanted to rig the referendum, and it did not even bother to conceal this.

    The second error of the Yes campaign was a failure to explain how the bailout programme could work economically. This is not a debate between Keynesian and neoclassical economics, the kind that keeps us endlessly busy on these pages. The Greek referendum united economists with very diverse views of how the world works, including Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and Hans-Werner Sinn. There is no reputable economic theory according to which an economy that has experienced an eight-year-long depression requires a new round of austerity to bring about economic adjustment.

    The third monumental error was arrogance. The Yes supporters thought they had it nailed. Like the British Labour party before the last general election, they had been relying on polls, which turned out to wildly inaccurate. What I found most galling was the argument that Grexit would bring about an economic catastrophe, as though the catastrophe had not already happened. If you have been unemployed for five years, with no prospect of a job, it makes no difference whether the money you do not get is denominated in euros, or in drachma. …
    ####

    He forgot to mention the threats coming out of the European Insitutions (HOWZAT Schultz? OUT!)

    • kirill says:

      I see that Greeks have way more self respect than the idiot masses in Ukraine. Greeks do not need to prove to everyone like little insecure children that they are European. Greeks had one of the main historical roots of European civilization and were civilized when Belgium, France and Germany were some nondescript wild lands. The EU-tard Euro-crats decided to pull the same routine as on the Maidan and have some yaps do some trash talking in Greece itself. They should have stayed in Brussels.

      • et Al says:

        I just had a thought. There are clear parallels with this attempted undemocratic imposition of order on the Greek people by Brussels, the Germans et al (not me!), AND the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) whereby the fear is that once essential services are sold off (like health) and the state takes back control of them due to various critical reasons, the investors will have the courts on their side and get every single eurocent/penny back through the Regulation of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) instrument. EU states would be powerless.

        If I were Greek, I’d be making this argument loudly and openly in the press, in short, what Brussels & Berlin is trying to do to Greece by enforcing their will, is what many European citizens and politicians are afraid of happening to them. The fundamental undermining of Democracy for cash.

        Glory to Greece!

  9. yalensis says:

    όχι
    όχι
    όχι
    όχι
    όχι

    Congrats to Greek people, it must be scary, but I think they did the right thing.

  10. Warren says:

    US Court issues papers to Russia over Yukos affair

    If successful, bank accounts and property belonging to the Russian government in America could be seized

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11716526/Former-Yukos-shareholders-to-sue-Russia-in-US-court-for-50bn.html#disqus_thread

    • kirill says:

      Russia should be as nasty as possible over this grotesque farce. Alexander Mercouris has an article which sums up the rulings against Russia in Europe and only the ECHR has anything to stand on. The $50 billion award from the kangaroo tribunal at the Hague which staged a “retrial” even though it did not follow any due process is a total joke. US court rulings on the case are total joke too, with a long history of political verdicts trying to assert American hegemony.

      Any seizures of Russian assets in NATO states should be answered with seizures in Russia and imposition of sanctions on the states engaged in this lynch mob “justice”. I would start from energy investments. It is clear the west is desperate for Russian oil and gas. Fuck them and fuck them hard on this front.

      • marknesop says:

        Not to mention the ECHR is the venue that shot down Khodorkovsky’s appeal.

      • Warren says:

        Russia has threatened reciprocal measures to Belgium and France’s decision to freeze Russian state assets. The Belgians reversed their decision, the French have not yet, however I believe they too will come to their senses.

        Investor-State Arbitration was specifically set up to protect first world investors from laws and jurisdiction of the third world. The origins of investor-state arbitration are the Mixed US-Mexican Commissions of the late 1920s and 40s. US investors and companies would often lose money and property from the constant political instability in Mexico, these US investors and businesses wanted to compensation. However US investors and businesses had no trust, confidence or disputed the ruling of the Mexican judiciary; so instead US investors and businesses lobbied the US government to intercede on their behalf and pressurise the Mexican government to pay compensation through a Mixed US-Mexican Commission that would arbitrate and review claims.

        I studied international investment law in my Master’s degree.
        Pay particular attention to Professor Martti Koskenniemi speech.
        http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=2885

  11. Drutten says:

    Our CIA-troll of ex-foreign minister Bildt has been on a roll recently.

    You see, actual democratic voting erodes Democracy™ and we can’t let that happen.

    Hooray! An armed separatist rebellion morally and financially supported by foreign powers kicked out the oppressors and finally declared independence on this day 239 years ago.

    Savonlinna, or Nyslott in Swedish was one of the major staging points for a great many Swedish attacks on Russia. After the attempted Swedish invasion of Russia of 1741 in which the Swedish attack was thwarted and Sweden forced to retreat, the Russians took control over Savonlinna following the subsequent Turku (Åbo) treaty.

    Unhappy with this development, Sweden desperately sought another war with Russia but domestic support was pretty much non-existent at that stage. Furthermore, many Swedes were becoming increasingly fond of the notion of just letting Finland be independent. To deal with this utter inconvenience, Sweden orchestrated an elaborate false-flag attack in the summer of 1788. Swedish soldiers were dressed in Russian uniforms supplied by the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and ordered to attack a Swedish checkpoint near Puumala, Finland. When news of this got out, people were understandably outraged at this “unprovoked Russian attack” and the Swedish King Gustav III faced little difficulty after that to start another war with the full support of the Riksdag.
    Sweden subsequently attacked Savonlinna a few weeks later but couldn’t breach its defenses, so the siege had to be called off a month or so later. Russia had no interest whatsoever in fighting Sweden again, and Catherine the Great repeatedly pressed for renewed peace treaties, which eventually succeeded.

    The castle remained in Russian hands until 1812 when it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Finland (i.e. still ostensibly in “Russian hands” but now part of a proper Finnish entity). The war (which happened during the general Napoleonic unrests all over Europe and was directly caused by them) that led to Finland becoming a Grand Duchy was an interesting thing too, far too complicated to describe here… Anyway, more Carl Bildt:

    When I went to the convenience store just an hour ago I paid up in kronor. I’m fairly sure we had them in 2007-2008 too, or did we Bildt? I mean, you were a minister in our government at the time, not that of any other country, so you should know. We did no worse than the Eurozone (in fact, we learned how to manage in 1994 and could apply that very knowledge to ride this storm out, thanks to the Krona).

    Oh, and about Russia there’s this:

    You mean right now, right? Why the past tense? Because if you refer to the 1990’s… I hate to break it to you like this but I can assure you that’s not how Russians were seeing it. And that’s not what any independent observers and analysts were saying either, but your fellow US shills might’ve. In fact, that’s a total fairy tale invented in the West to cover Yeltsins drunken ass and make people outside of Russia ignore in a truly Orwellian fashion the reality on the ground.

    When I say Orwellian, I’m serious. This is a good, honest description of 1990’s Russia:
    During the Yeltsin era, there were so many assassinations and hits on journalists and political figures that no one can even remember them: Vladislav Listyev, the TV presenter whose assassination hit Russians harder than any other murder I remember from that era, believed to have been killed by Yeltsin’s top “family” oligarch Boris Berezovsky; investigative reporter Dmitry Kholodov, who was killed with an exploding briefcase while investigating Yeltsin’s defense minister; liberal firebrand Galina Starovoitova, gunned down in her apartment stairwell in 1998.
    We don’t remember any of these murders as the fault of Yeltsin, nor the hundreds killed when Yeltsin sent tanks against his parliament in 1993, nor the tens of thousands killed in Yeltsin’s war in Chechnya. Those murders, and the deaths of millions who went to their graves early from the shock therapy reforms, are the fault of impersonal forces, not free-market liberalism and its western missionaries and funders.

    And this, too:

    Under Yeltsin, Russia’s economy collapsed some 60%, the male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56, millions were reduced to living on subsistence farming for the first time since Stalin as wages went unpaid for years at a time. Russia was on its way to going extinct—but about 3-5% of the population (plus or minus 3%) was making out like bandits. Probably because they actually were bandits.

    And this, too:

    The way Dresner and the Americans told it, it was the Americans who first introduced focus groups into the campaign; who invented fake pro-Yeltsin crowds at rallies, rustled out of government-owned factories and coerced into attending pro-democracy Yeltsin rallies; and it was good ol’ USA advisers who took credit for convincing Team Yeltsin to take total control over the Russian media and convert the only cultural unifying medium into a kind of virtual reality apparatus, deployed to brainwash the public into fearing a victory by Yeltsin’s opponent—the cowardly, dumb-as-nails Communist Party leader, Gennady Zyuganov—who, if Russia’s 1996 TV media onslaught was to be believed, would plunge the country into a bloody civil war, leading to GULAGs, cattle wagons, and family members hanging from lamp posts. Every fantastical historical nightmare was exploited and exaggerated to frighten the public into a different mindset, and a totally distorted grasp of reality.
    This required taking full control of Russia’s television networks, radio, and media, which until 1996 had been relatively free and chaotic in editorial interests. Key to this was how Yeltsin co-opted the once-independent national network NTV, owned by oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky, which had been a fierce critic of Yeltsin’s slaughter in Chechnya. That problem was solved by Yeltsin promising to give Gusinsky valuable banking and national TV licenses and other properities; Gusinsky agreed, and he put NTV at Yeltsin’s service, and seconded NTV’s top executive to lead Yeltsin’s TV campaign coverage.

    In the end, Yeltsin won by old school fraud — in Chechnya, for example, where Yeltsin’s war had killed 40,000 people and displaced half the population, elections showed 1,000,000 Chechens voted (even though less than half a million adults remained in Chechnya at the time of voting), and that 70% of them voted for Yeltsin, their exterminator. That helped deliver the numbers that the West needed to see—enough for the New York Times to declare it “A Victory for Russian Democracy”—parroting the laughably cheerful assessment of President Clinton and his team.

    And so on. Now, what’s that they accuse Putin of? Murdering journalists, imprisoning or murdering opponents, starting wars, cheating elections and controlling the media… Right?

    I’m sorry but it seems like you have mixed things up a wee bit. You see, that was Yeltsin. And furthermore – you helped his administration do that and get away with it, and you protected him fiercely when somebody had the audacity to complain.

    • Drutten says:

      By the way,

      The US is not all that creative when it comes to these things. Keep an eye out for revelations on Ukraine 5-10-15 years from now and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

      At that stage it doesn’t matter anymore, the objectives have been achieved so they can safely let it slip out and pride themselves in being so fucking “transparent.” Once revealed, in the rare case that they’re called out on it they’ll just go “meh, that was then.” Like they always do. Perpetually unaccountable they are, because of what even a little time does to people. Iraq is a good case in point, for that matter.

      I think that’s what bugs me the most…

  12. yalensis says:

    Dear Jen:
    This a continuation of very interesting thread involving place names.
    You pointed out how Latin names like “Germania Inferior” and “Germania Superior” meant “Low” or “High”, and not in the judgmental sense (as we now think of “superior” or “inferior”), but in the literal geographic sense of “mountainous” vs. “flat”.

    Similarly, Greece and her colonies were described in the Alexandrian period as “Magna Graecia” (“larger Greece”, i.e., the colonies) and “Graecia Minor” (“Greece proper”).

    In Russian history/linguistics, it has been postulated that medieval Russians, who were familiar with Greek and Latin, used the same type of (non-judgmental) terminology in designating areas where Russians lived. Hence, they used “Malaya Rossia” (“smaller Russia”, equivalent of “Minor”) to designate “Russia proper”, centered around Kiev at that time; vs. “Greater Russia” (equivalent of “Magna”) to distinguish the more far-flung parts, like Moscow.

    This later morphs into “Great Russians” (Russian speakers) and “Little Russians” (Surzhyk speakers), with judgmental connotations.

    This theory, by the way, goes against the other theory, whereby Russia is Russia and Ukraine is just the “borderlands”.
    Although, it’s possible that both theories are valid, just at different phases in time.

  13. et Al says:

    vis Greece. I am starting to wonder if the real damage that may occur out of all this might well come from the German response. It wouldn’t be the first time that the (over) reaction to an action is the one that sets the cat among the pigeons. The German argument is that Greece needs to be made an example of so that the uppity poor of the Med stay cowed, and much more importantly speculators for the rich (who are always protected whatever happens) don’t go full crazy assed bananas on their economies leading to a run on the euro and its collapse, and thus probably the EU.

    The way Berlin is behaving is showing their interpretation of European Unity is doing things the German way down to a ‘t’ and no other. They’re certainly going to loose friends over this. Is this not and opportunity for the UK government to form a counter bloc (what do the British actually do in Europe again?) with the scandies, NL, Be and a few others to shift the EU dynamic away from the Germany wearing the trousers relationship with the French that is the core. Unfortunately the British never participate much in the EU except to turn up and sign treaties every now and then.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Where Greece is concerned…

      Watch for articles in the Times and the Grauniad presenting the Golden Dawn in a more and more sympathetic light. When and if that happens, it will be the first portent of approaching danger.

      • Isn’t Golden Dawn pro-Russian? They are not useful Nazis like the Ukrainian Nazis are.

        • marknesop says:

          I think what he means is that it will signal a regime-change effort. The west is not particularly coherent on such issues, and is quite happy if the effort results in chaos for the targeted country so long as it brings down the government.

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            The Dawn are Nazis. How long will they will be ‘pro-Russian’ if some hypothetical Greek junta tries to coopt them in order to gain a mass backing for an austerity dictatorship?

            Not for long, I would guess. Men’s alleged principles tend to go straight out the window when somebody offers them a taste of power for the first time.

            http://johnhelmer.net/?p=13712

            The bear dancer predicts the possibility of a coup, although he doesn’t seem to have considered the Golden Dawn factor.

  14. yalensis says:

    Just saw this odd story .
    Says that 40,000 residents of Israel are begging Vladimir Putin to grant them Russian citizenship, so that they can return to Crimea.

    These people say that they all used to live in Crimea. When the Soviet Union dissolved, they all left for Israel, where they obtained visas for permanent residence. [but not citizenship?]

    According to Russian politician Leonid Grach, quoting a letter to him from the leader of the Progressive Liberal Democratic Party of Israel, Alexander Redko:

    “For more than 20 years, these people have helped in the economic development of Israel. But still (…) their love for their native Crimea never left them. Being (native) Russian speakers, and bearing the carriers of this cultural inheritance, they preserved their love for the Motherland – Russia. With joy they greeted the Crimean Spring, with hopes for their own return to the Motherland,” according to Grach.

    Grach is lobbying on behalf of these 40K Russian emigres, and petitioning Putin to grant them Russian citizenship. He says that most of them are qualified intellectuals and engineers, and that types like them are precisely what is needed to rebuild Crimea.

    Hm….
    One wonders why these folks never received Israeli citizenship, but only residence visas (?)
    Also, Grach claims that granting these people Russian citizenship will be a positive symbolic action, and help improve relations between Russia and Israel.
    But that doesn’t make sense to me. For starters, Russia and Israel already have good relations.
    Also, I thought that Israel wanted MORE Jews to move there. Not get rid of the ones they have.

    I think Russia SHOULD let most of these people return to Crimea, but only as individuals, screening them one by one and making sure they really are engineers and scientists.
    And not Israeli spies or moochers who just miss living on the beach!

    • Erika says:

      The US and their like keep asking that there be in Crimea legitimate internationally recognizing election. Only a new election with international experts, etc, there to verify the vote can the US then accept Crimea’s wish if they were to vote again to join Russia.

      If you all of sudden you introduce 40K voters, it will change the results.If again the same number of people do not vote to join Russia, even the majority still votes for Russia, the west will use this to say that people truly do not want to be part of Russia, etc…

    • Fern says:

      Mmmm, a very odd tale. Israel has a good many internal problems and a steady outflow of migrants seeking to return to the countries they emigrated from in the first place. But 40,000 of them all seeking to return to Crimea at the same time? Methinks not. Something is in play that unlikely to be good for Russia and Crimea.

    • Jen says:

      Those people might originally have qualified to migrate to Israel on the basis of their ancestry (they had ancestors who considered themselves Jewish) as defined by Soviet authorities of the time but when they arrived in Israel, Israel might have refused them citizenship on the grounds that they did not meet Israeli definitions of Jewishness which are much more narrow than Soviet definitions. Having one parent or grandparent who was Jewish would not be enough under Israeli definitions: first and foremost, your MOTHER needs to be Jewish and you must have been brought up by your FATHER in Jewish traditions such as learning to read Torah (because women aren’t allowed to read Torah or instruct others in reading it). In other words, you need to be a … ahem, a “pure-blood”. Also, Israel does not accept as Jewish anyone brought up under any denomination of Judaism other than Orthodox Judaism.

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    US Ambassador to the Ukraine congratulating the latest US government placeman on his appointment to his Ukrainian governmental post.

  16. Fern says:

    If you haven’t seen the video included in this clip, it’s absolutely astonishing. A Kiev-based woman, an opponent of the Maidan, confronts the Ukrainian propagandists with the fruits of their work in eastern Ukraine – an injured baby whose 11 year old sister was killed by the same shell. She’s incandescent and her outrage just burns through the screen. Really rare courage on display.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/anti-maidan-ukrainian-viktoria-shilova-confronts-ukrainian-propagandists-their-victim/ri8522

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    Welcome to the Ukraine, our racial masters!

    The Moskaly went thataway!

  18. Tim Owen says:

    Re. the Greek situation, two pieces:

    This is the best, condensed version of the history I’ve seen:

    http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/6013.html

    Helmer’s view with some timely if disturbing reminders of past efforts to discipline Greece:

    http://johnhelmer.net/?p=13712#more-13712

    • cartman says:

      “For warfighting in Greece now, all you need to know is who the Greeks must be saved from.”

      Everyone west from the Elbe has treated the Greeks like shit.

      • yalensis says:

        What is absolutely atrocious is the way the Germans reacted to the Greek vote.
        They should have said: “Wow! Point taken. We hear you. We need to figure something out.”

        Instead, they started issuing threats against the Greek people themselves, not just the government.
        Abhorrent.

    • Terje says:

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/07/04/pers-j04.html
      Rumbles of military coup as Greek workers demand end to EU austerity
      Hours before anti-austerity demonstrators flooded the streets of central Athens on Friday, a number of retired Greek military officers publicly called for a “yes” vote in Sunday’s referendum on the European Union’s demands, defying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s call for a “no” vote.
      Retired General Fragkoulis Fragkos, a former defense minister and one-time head of the Greek army general staff, called for a “loud yes on Sunday.” In 2011, Fragkos was cashiered by then-Prime Minister George Papandreou amid rumors of a coup.
      A group of 65 retired high-ranking officers issued a statement citing their “oath to the Fatherland and the Flag” and warning, “By choosing isolation, we place the Fatherland and its future in danger.”
      The statement continued: “The strength of our country is the most important thing we have, and this is being put in jeopardy. Our exit from Europe will make our country weaker. We will lose allies that have stood by our side. We will lose the strength we gain from associations and groupings to which we belong historically and culturally.”

      These declarations constitute an enormous act of political intimidation. Just over 40 years since the CIA-backed colonels’ junta collapsed, well-connected officers are casting aside any pretense of neutrality and announcing their support for the positions of the EU and Washington in opposition to large sections of the population and the current government.
      This week, senior German officials said that they intended to secure a “yes” vote in the Greek referendum so as to bring down the government led by Tsipras’s Syriza party. Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a warning shot Tsipras’s way by inviting bloodstained Egyptian dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Berlin as Cairo held joint military exercises with the Greek armed forces. Berlin subsequently arrested Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour on trumped-up charges issued by Sisi’s regime.

      • marknesop says:

        And this is more of the same – a western effort to mount a coup or insurrection to overthrow Tsipras and reverse his decision. The Greeks have to publicly make it known that they will not tolerate it, as the “No” vote was plainly an expression of public will. This is nothing less than a western gambit to enslave them to austerity.

  19. et Al says:

    Toilet Barf: EU dismisses Greek referendum as ‘not legally correct’
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11721043/EU-dismisses-Greek-referendum-as-not-legally-correct.html

    Greece’s referendum was not “legally correct”, the European Commission has declared.

    Valdis Dombrovskis, the Latvian-born EU vice president responsible for the euro, said the vote had “complicated” the work of the creditors and had left the Greek government in a weaker, not stronger, negotiating position.

    A write-down of Greece’s €380 billion (£270 billion) debt mountain is now “off the table”, he said….

    blah blah blah…

    …The Council of Europe – which is independent of the European Union – warned that the referendum did not meet international standards as it was called with one week’s notice and the lengthy question on the proposed bailout was unclear.

    No formal offer had been made to Greece when the referendum was called late last Friday night, days before the country defaulted on a €1.5 billion IMF loan.

    However, the Greek Supreme Court upheld the plebiscite as constitutional following a challenge last week….
    ####

    J.F.C.! What a bunch of dumbf/ks the eurokommisars are. Exactly how is this good PR or anything else for the EU? To misquote a lyric from Parliament, ‘One EU under the boot

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdis_Dombrovskis
    He served as Prime Minister of Latvia from 2009 until 2014, when he resigned.[1] He served as Minister of Finance from 2002 to 2004 and was a Member of the European Parliament for the New Era Party.

    • marknesop says:

      From the Western Diplomatic Terminology Dictionary: “Referendum – A democratic vote taken among a distinguishable population or group, in which (a) it can be shown that all or most of the voters among the group had the opportunity to participate, (b) a clearly-articulated choice was offered to the responders, (c) advance information preceding the vote clearly, and in an unbiased manner, discussed the options and their identifiable consequences, and (d) the vote arrived upon a decision agreeable to the west. All conditions should be met, but (d) is a conditional necessity and if it is not met the referendum will be declared illegitimate.”

      Here’s an example of a referendum of which the Council of Europe approved, though. It found the referendum “generally consistent with international standards”, even though more than 5000 votes were registered as invalid out of 454, 347 votes cast, the government’s redistricting plan would violate not only the Macedonian Constitution, but also Article 5 of the European Charter for Local Self-Government, there was considerable evidence of intimidation, and by the Council of Europe’s admission, ballot-stuffing and polling stations which closed early. The approval was a relieved validation of the vote because despite all the alleged transparency and commendable activity, the referendum failed because turnout was only 27%, well below the acceptable 50% threshold.

      • et Al says:

        Well there’s always the OSCE on hand to look the other way when needed. It’s no trouble getting enough volunteers for a well paid foreign jolly.

        Yes, it is curious how Brussels bends and redefines definitions and its own rules always in its own interests and this is considered quite normal. It’s a disturbing case of multiple fig leaves! The PPNN will report it as will ever reliable Brussels based eurativ, but there are absolutely no consequences. If you want to be a disaster, incompetent and royally screw things up, then head to Brussels. You’ll get a big fat pension out of it to boot too!

    • Referendum or no referendum, the Greeks need to do something about their country. Check this: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/12/04/75-of-greek-pensioners-enjoy-early-retirement/

      75% of the Greek workforce retire before official retirement age.

      Quote: ““In the public sector, 7.91% of pensioners retire between the ages of 26 and 50, 23.64% between 51 and 55, and 43.53% between 56 and 61. In IKA, 4.44% of pensioners retire between the ages of 26 and 50, 12.83% retire between 51 and 55, and 58.61% retire between 56 and 61.”

      This would never be possible in Germany or Netherlands. But Greeks need to realize that if they want to be part of the euro they cannot live like this. I realize that countries are different. We can never expect Greeks (or Italians or Spaniards or Ukrainians or Russians) to work and organize themselves like the Germans do. Northern Europeans are unique people and southern/eastern Europeans have their own uniqueness as well.

      Either Greece abandons euro or they have to become more like northern Europeans, because northern Europeans will not be paying for this any longer.

      • marknesop says:

        I see the Greek Finance Minister has resigned – ostensibly under European pressure. I hope Tsipras’s government is not going to start to unravel on him.

        I read that that’s where much of the first Greek bailout went – on pensions and other social programs, not including that used to recapitalize institutions that promptly shifted their balances offshore where they would be unreachable. It is all very well to champion Greek resistance to austerity, and I do because I do not believe austerity for its own sake has ever saved an economy in meltdown and it is just another means for the government to establish more control over the electorate. But the Greeks are going to have to face the fact that some belt-tightening is in order. Hopefully seeing it go toward something concrete will provide incentive.

      • yalensis says:

        Everybody thinks the Germans are workaholics, but they are not.
        Sure, they work hard. But they are get a lot of vacation time, and a lot of perks.
        And I bet a lot of them also take early retirement, especially those in the public sector.
        It’s just not fair to paint Greeks as lazy vagabonds.

        • marknesop says:

          Especially since, as a French economist pointed out, Germany is the first to pound the table and bellow that these countries must pay their debts – but in 1945 Germany’s debt was over 200% of its GDP. In a decade it was less than 20%. How’d that happen? Debt forgiveness.

          • et Al says:

            Yes, the Greece does need to sort its own s/t out which means actually doing something practical rather than just voting and forgetting about it. They can’t even keep their tech talent:

            ZDNET: ‘It’s a graveyard’: The software devs leaving Greece for good
            http://www.zdnet.com/article/its-a-graveyard-the-software-devs-leaving-greece-for-good/

            … There are four main factors that compel professionals from all industries to consider leaving. First is the lack of meritocracy and the corruption in the country, mentioned by 37 percent of those interviewed for the ICAP study. Second is the absence of suitable jobs (35 percent): Greece has one of the highest unemployment rates for young people with tertiary education in the EU. Others quote the economic crisis and the need to seek better development prospects (each mentioned by 33 percent of respondants).

            “The fact that many of these talented Greek people do not want (20 percent) or do not foresee (30 percent) that they will ever return to Greece is extremely sad,” Nikitas Konstantellos, CEO of ICAP Group, told local media. Nearly three-quarters of those questioned hold a master’s degree and are highly skilled. “Before it’s too late, we need not only to stop the excessive exodus of talent abroad, but to bring back those who excel. This should be a national priority,” Konstantellos said….
            ####

            That all said, there is not a huge amount available in the rest of the West either if they can take in Greeks rather than their own nationals. Dodgy countries(!) like China & India pump out techs in huge numbers and provide subsidies (particularly electrical engineers in China). The downside is of course that the quality will be variable and I’ve heard from tech friends that some of their outsourced tech work is utter crap and needs to be monitored and checked, undoing the supposed cost savings. On the other hand, more mean more, including good techs.

            I think this is an opportunity for Greece to ape Russia’s Putin-Medvyedev reforms, namely a flat 20% tax rate. Currently it is progressive.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Greece :

            Tax exemptions

            There are several cases of Tax exemptions under the Greek taxation system, these are as follows:

            Proceeds from the sale of shares that are traded on the Athens Stock Exchange.
            Income from ships and shipping.
            A dividend received from a Greek company.
            Capital gain from sale of a business between family members, as defined by law.

            ##

            Like shipping in Greece needs help. All those exemptions should go right away.

            • marknesop says:

              While there is always room for improvement, you can expect many more articles like this one, and they should sound familiar because you have heard them before; all the talented people are leaving, the economic situation is hopeless, corruptioncorruptioncorruption. It’s formulaic for the English-speaking media when they are trying – at the behest of their rulers – to promote political instability. If recent experience is any standard of measure, the west will go after Tsipras hard and from multiple directions, hoping to knock him over with sheer momentum. They probably would have done it earlier, but were reassured right after the election that a Syriza government was relatively harmless since Tsipras went along with most of the things they wanted.

            • Jen says:

              Notice too that these exemptions tend to favour a small group of families. If you’re a rich shipping magnate, you can afford to own shares (and receive dividends and trade your shares) and of course you’d sell your shipping business to a relative.

              Also there are billions of euros stashed away in bank accounts in Switzerland by rich and upper middle class Greek citizens, for the purpose of avoiding taxation.

      • Jen says:

        ” … Either Greece abandons euro or they have to become more like northern Europeans, because northern Europeans will not be paying for this any longer.”

        Greeks work longer hours than northern Europeans. Average working week in Greece is 42 hours while average working weeks in Germany and the Netherlands are 35 and 30 weeks respectively.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/03/13/contrary-to-what-most-people-think-greeks-work-the-longest-hours-in-europe-infographic/

        It’s not how long or how hard you work, it’s the level of productivity that is important and that is the result of education (which is being squeezed), on-the-job training and technological advances in the workplace, or what would be called the capital value added to a worker’s productivity.

        Greeks are very well-organised people to have lifted themselves from poverty, military rule, chaos and a legacy of mediocre and corrupt leadership within a 70-year period.

      • Tim Owen says:

        They also have the longest work hours of any European country:

        I also seem to recall that they had among the highest personal savings rates in Europe, though can’t find the stats.

        My point is not to say that Greece is not messed up in a myriad of ways. (Interestingly one of the most scandalous ways is tax avoidance. I think it was in 2011 when Papandreou was handed a list of information on tax cheats with liabilities of ~ 50 billion and details of their accounts in Switzerland. He did not try to act on this nor would the IMF conscience such an approach as far as I recall.) The point is rather that these very loaded observations are no substitute for actually getting down to the nitty-gritty details of how to return Greece to some sort of productive growth so that some – payable – portion of the debt can be produced.

        Your comments bring to mind Yves Smith’s comments that, given the lower retirement benefits in say, Slovenia, Syrizia’s refusal to conscience cutting pensions further made their case poisonous to European politicians. It’s a valid point. Now that, through the bank bailouts of 2010 the largely private credit bubble that burst in 2008 has been taken on by individual EU states I suppose EU politicians will be forced to “beggar thy neighbour’s (pensions)” but that, even on its face, seems a sad terminus for a project that was meant to foster European unity. This is especially true if the whole project of pretending that, say, a nurse making what, ~ 700 eu a week is supposed to pay off the billions in liabilities accrued during the Euro bubble.

        That is clearly not going to happen so isn’t it time we moved on to solutions rather than scapegoating?

    • kirill says:

      That’s their only angle, to promise money to sell your mother. Americans are going to have starting hating Russia some more now since Russia is not populated by 2 cent turncoats.

  20. et Al says:

    This is interesting.

    German Economic News via Russia Insider: Top German Banker: Russia and China Will Defeat US Hegemony
    http://russia-insider.com/en/german-top-banker-russia-and-china-will-defeat-usa/ri7988

    Folker Hellmeyer, chief economist at Bremer Landesbank, has no doubts about the future of the global economic system: The axis Moscow-Beijing-BRICS will prevail against the old hegemon USA. These countries have had enough of the West, because they want to pursue a long-term strategy and not opportunism. The EU is likely to be among the losers, due to its blind sanctions-obedience.

    German Economic News: The EU-countries report continuing losses because of the sanctions against Russia. What damage have the sanctions already done, in your estimation?

    Folker Hellmeyer: The damage is much more comprehensive than the statistics show. Let’s start with the economy and the hitherto accumulated damage. The view on the decline of German exports of 18% year-over-year in 2014 and 34% in the first two months of 2015 includes only primary losses. There are also secondary effects. Economies of European countries with a strong Russia business, amongst others Finland and Austria, suffer massively. As a result, these countries place less orders in Germany. Moreover, in order to circumvent the sanctions, European conglomerates consider to create production facilities at the highest efficiency level in Russia. Therefore we lose this potential capital stock, which is the basis of our prosperity. Russia wins the capital stock….
    ####

    It seems a little preaching to the converted to me. Only a few stories up from this is a piece covering the second leg of the Nordstream pipeline to be built with eon & Royal Dutch Shell with a video by politrussia explaining how Germany is replacing the Ukraine as the EU’s transit point for Russian gas – http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/nord-stream-20/ri8527

    • marknesop says:

      The German press seems to be in a bit of a tizz, firing off alarmist stories in all directions: very much in the same vein, Sputnik quotes a German paper – Die Tageszeitung – as saying the BRICS are stronger than the west. Unfortunately, it does not provide a link or even a direct quote, so we have no way of knowing if that’s what the story said at all. However, we can tell from the accompanying photo that the BRICS have far nicer chairs than NATO and the G7.

      An opinion from The Atlantic would seem to back this up; according to its projections, in 2050, the USA will be the only western economy in the world’s top 5. There are a couple of things wrong with that: one, economic projections out to 2050 are only slightly less useless than little tuxedos for dogs, and two, Goldman Sachs is the analyst and Goldman Sachs could not be trusted to tell you the correct time. When they blubber “Oh, boo hoo, we’re being left behind!!”, it is probably a scare tactic devised to frighten more money into their keeping.

      But even with those cautions, the rising economic power of the BRICS seems to have the west mesmerized like a bird caught in the gaze of a big snake, when it has no time to lose if it wants to try sowing disunity and false-flags to make the BRICS distrust each other. Maybe it is just all out of juice.

  21. et Al says:

    This should tickle your Canuk cockles Mark!

    via Russia Insider:
    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/nato-preparing-long-term-conflict-russia/ri8207

  22. marknesop says:

    Anyone seen any substantiation of this claim? There’s zero proof offered, just the usual according to mysterious Ukrainian sources. The same page offers an article which reports Ukraine has sent the USA a list of Russian generals commanding rebel troops. It sounds to me as if they are just getting crazier and crazier, and soon they will reach a point where the arrival of more of their “reports” is regarded the same way the delivery of Mad Magazine would be. Or it may be, as I read suggested elsewhere, that they are just trying to keep things at a constant boil in the hope of scoring some money.

    It offers a considerable risk of embarrassment if it is inaccurate.

    • kirill says:

      It seems Russia needs all of its war resources to fight a bunch of drunk, incompetent losers. The above claim is not in cloud kookoo land, it is incomprehensibly beyond it, in the sugar plum dimension.

    • kat kan says:

      Must be true if they say so.
      That they would have images of various officers, and having identified them by name, I can understand. Even public sources would provide this kind of information, if they troubled to collect it.

      BUT then comes the necessity of the sniper, from several 100 metres away,. to be able to get a detailed look at the face to make positive identification. Do people look different enough t that distance to tell them apart?

      This reminds me of all the times they’ve said they killed Motorola or Givi, under circumstances when the body is NOT in their possession (except the last time Givi was killed, when they had a photo of him all bandaged up, strangely looking 100% like a dead fighter from Syria 3 years ago).

      The list of senior officers in Ukraine is correct — all there by invitation of Ukraine as part of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination ceasefire monitoring. The way it works is, a unit can appeal to its own JCCC guys with “hey we are being shot at” and he tells the other JCCC guy to tell HIS lot “hey stop shooting at XYZ place”. Sometimes this has led to lengthy (2 whole days) ceasefires while some important utility is repaired.

    • Tim Owen says:

      There’s a headline there somehow. I think the Onion’s editorial meeting should be put on the job.

      If those freaks in Kiev and their handlers from Washington were capable of embarassment, much less shame, then we wouldn’t be where we are.

  23. yalensis says:

    Continuation of that story about the alleged leak of a letter from American Senator Richard Durbin to Yatsenuk.
    In which Durbin lays out to Yatsenuk exactly whom to hire and fire for Ukrainian government cabinet posts.

    Durbin has finally spoken out, and declared that the letter is a forgery.
    Okay, so he is going with that story.
    But he picked a wrong argument: Durbin says it is obvious from the very text of the letter that it was written by somebody WHO IS NOT FLUENT IN ENGLISH!

    Native English speakers, judge for yourselves. Here is the content of Durbin’s letter.
    My English is fluent, and I cannot see in it a single grammatical mistake, all the “a’s” and “the’s” in the right place, etc.


    Dear Prime Minister Yatsenyuk:

    I wish to assure you that the U.S. Senate extends its trust in you and shares your concerns over the ongoing dismissal by President Petro Poroshenko of key figures in Ukrainian leadership who have been entirely committed to promoting democracy in your country. I concur, it is necessary to invest every effort to keep Oleksiy Pavlenko in his office of Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food. His discharge will create additional obstacles on the way of widening cooperation between the U.S. and Ukrainian agricultural companies. I also consider it of utmost importance to make sure Yuriy Nedashkovsky remains President of Energoatom Company. It is largely due to his efficient work that Ukraine has an opportunity to intensify cooperation with foreign partners in the field of nuclear energy production.

    Besides, I would like to inform you that the U.S. Senate Ukraine Caucus has considered your proposals regarding Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Volodymyr Demchyshyn and head of Ukrgasvydobuvannya Company Sergei Kostyuk. Majority of the Senators agree that neither Mr. Demchyshyn, nor Mr. Kostyuk meets the job requirements. Yet, there is no clear-cut solution to the problem of Mr. Avakov. Senators differ in their opinions. I consider it appropriate to postpone the issue for some time.

    Sncerely, (etc.)

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. For comparison purposes (Literature Majors: Homework Alert!!!), I have found some scraps of utterances and other bloviating letters by Richard Durbin. Not sure I have the scientific wherewithal nor the patience to pore over his texts and do word and syllable counts like a bloody Shakespeare scholar. But just looking at his sentence construction. Durbin DOES appear to favor langurous compound sentences. For example, this totally authentic Durbin letter is good for comparison with above alleged forgery:


      April 29, 2014

      Dear Principal:

      I write to you about the often irresistible lure of for-profit colleges and ask for your help to ensure that your students are receiving honest and accurate information about their higher education options.

      Students can hardly ride a CTA bus, watch their favorite prime-time sitcom, or surf the internet without being bombarded by attention-grabbing advertisements from for-profit colleges offering a hassle-free enrollment process, federal financial assistance, flexible schedules and a promised path to high-paying jobs and a better life. But too often it doesn’t work out that way. On average, for-profit colleges leave their students with more debt than traditional schools and account for 46 percent of all federal student loan defaults.

      I have heard too many heartbreaking stories of Illinois students, often low-income or minority students, who thought they were doing the right thing by signing up at a for-profit college. But after attending, many students find their dream has turned into a nightmare when they end up with a worthless degree that employers don’t even recognize, credits that don’t transfer, and almost twice the average debt of their fellow students who attended traditional public schools.

      Many for-profit colleges are facing increased scrutiny from federal and state regulators for a variety of abuses including fraudulent marketing and recruiting practices, falsifying job placement rates, and predatory lending practices. According to a chart recently published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the following for-profit companies that operate campuses or programs in Illinois are facing active investigations or lawsuits by the Illinois Attorney General or federal agencies:

      •Career Education Corporation (operates International Academy of Design and Technology, American Intercontinental University, Harrington College of Design, Le Cordon Bleu, Sanford Brown)
      •Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (operates Everest Colleges)
      •DeVry
      •Education Management Corporation (operates The Illinois Institutes of Art, Argosy University)
      •ITT Educational Services, Inc. (operates ITT Technical Institutes)
      •Kaplan (operates Kaplan University Online)

      Sadly, while their students are burdened with debt and their companies face investigation, many for-profit college CEO’s and their investors are doing quite well. In 2012, the CEO of Career Education Corporation received more than $3 million in executive compensation. The amount was $3 million for Corinthian’s CEO, $6.2 million at DeVry, $1 million at Education Management Corporation, and $5.5 million for the CEO of ITT Education Services. What’s more, because these schools target students who qualify for federal student aid, much of their revenue – often close to 90 percent – comes from federal taxpayers. Last year, the industry received more than $25 billion in federal funding. If it were a federal agency, the for-profit college industry would be the ninth largest.

      While I continue to work in the halls of Congress to correct federal policies that enable this industry to take advantage of students, I ask you to use your position in the halls of Illinois’ high schools to ensure your graduating students have the tools necessary to protect themselves from schools who seek to take advantage of them. You should help your students access data on student outcomes through resources like the President’s College Scorecard. You should encourage guidance counselors to have frank discussions with students about one of the basic tenants of the for-profit college industry and what it may mean for their experiences – that for-profit colleges’ first responsibility is to their shareholders and not always to their students.

      Finally, it is important that students understand there are alternatives to for-profit colleges. Unfortunately, a recent survey by Public Agenda found that 75 percent of for-profit college students didn’t consider public or non-profit colleges before enrolling in a for-profit school. Community colleges often offer similar programs as for-profits and at a fraction of the cost. I encourage you to work closely with your local community colleges and other not-for-profit institutions to ensure students have information on these programs.

      For the sake of your students, I hope you will give serious consideration to my requests. I look forward to working with you on behalf of Illinois students.

      Sincerely,

      Richard J. Durbin

      United States Senator

      Very similar style, methinks?
      What say ye, English Literature Majors?

      • bolasete says:

        there was obviously nothing wrong with the diction of the purported fraud (unlike your a’s and the’s). on the other hand, durbin is 71, 18 years in the senate and the odds that he writes these letters himself are probably slim.

        • yalensis says:

          Tee hee.

          For sure, Durbin has secretary who writes stuff for him.
          I am just assuming that secretary mostly writes in the same style, be it THE speech or A letter!

      • marknesop says:

        Actually, although I am not a Lit major or even a high-school graduate, this sounds much more polished to me than the other example. Given my own propensity for run-on sentences which sometimes occupy an entire paragraph, I can’t fault him much for that writing-style peccadillo. The other example sounds laboured and clumsy compared with this. I’d love it to be true that it is a Durbin original, and I wonder why he waited so long to counter its release – but I have to say he has grounds for suggesting it does not sound like an effort by native speaker of English, and far more like something by someone who speaks it as a second language.

        Hardly a total loss, though – if it turns out to be a fake it will be clear that the Ukrainians will fuck over the U.S. government without hesitation in order to serve their own agendas. This is not something Durbin will be able to blame on the Russians. Its Ukrainian origins are pretty clear.

        • Jen says:

          ” … but I have to say he has grounds for suggesting it does not sound like an effort by native speaker of English, and far more like something by someone who speaks it as a second language …”

          What, you mean Durbin outsourced the writing of his correspondence to graduate students in an office building somewhere in Mumbai or Pune in India?🙂

          • marknesop says:

            Ha, ha! Well, that’s certainly a possibility – but that begs the question why he doesn’t always do that, and why he would do it on such an important occasion with an international client.

    • Jen says:

      The only way to find out if the letter is genuine is to compare it with something that Durbin is known to have written, to see if the styles match. The text in bold looks quite genuine and any mistakes appear to be typos. An actual copy of the letter claimed to be fake is not of any use since letterheads and signatures can be faked or forged.

      • yalensis says:

        On that note, Reuters quickly jumped into the fray with this bold claim that it’s all just a big forgery.

        Well, it MIGHT be a forgery, but Reuters got something wrong too:
        The forged letter was on paper that resembled U.S. Senate stationery, but with Durbin’s title wrong. The Illinois lawmaker is assistant Democratic leader, but the forged letter called him “Assistant Minority Leader.”

        Not true, O Bwana! Durbin IS most assuredly “Assistant Minority Leader”. See,
        Dick Durbin is actually the Senate Minority Whip. I’m not sure what a Whip actually does, but it sounds kinky.
        Bottom line is: the Dems are currently in the Minority in the Senate. Durbin “has been the Senate Minority Whip, the second highest position in the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate, since 2015.” Therefore the letterhead calling him “Assistant Minority Leader” would be accurate. Besides, if the letter IS a forgery, I’m sure the forgers made sure to nick some current letterhead.

        According to Durbin’s spokesman, Ben Marter: “This letter is a forgery and was obviously written by somebody with a tenuous grasp of the English language.”

        The only reason Marter could get away with that statement is because most Americans are functionally illiterate. If they were able to actually read the letter, they would say it was written by a native English speaker with at the very least a high-school education!

        Two strikes for Reuters. One more swish of the bat, and it is a certainty that the “forged” letter is for real!

    • marknesop says:

      Well, there are in fact a few awkward moments. “His discharge will create additional obstacles on the way of widening cooperation between the U.S. and Ukrainian agricultural companies” is clumsy, and I would have written it as “His discharge WOULD (because it has not happened) create additional obstacles IN the way of widening cooperation between (no “the”) U.S. and Ukrainian agricultural companies”.

      “Besides” is a colloquialism, and should not be used to start a sentence in an official letter – I would have used “Additionally” or “As well”. “Majority of the senators agree” should be “A majority of the senators agrees”. It is possible that it is indeed a fake. However, George W. Bush was proud of his ignorance and anti-intellectualism, and despite being educated in two of his country’s finest institutions of higher learning, still talked like a cracker farmer. Senators speaking live have astonished observers with their clumsy command of what is presumably the only language they know.

      Such a letter in all probability would be written by a staffer, but they are customarily better-educated than their employers, while a longtime senator would know better than to let something go out under his signature without reading it thoroughly.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        “I also consider it of utmost importance to make sure Yuriy Nedashkovsky remains President of Energoatom Company.”

        I would have used the subjunctive mood, thus:

        “I also consider it of utmost importance to make sure Yuriy Nedashkovsky remain President of Energoatom Company”.
        🙂

        • yalensis says:

          Which, to me, is even more evidence that the Durbin letter is authentic!
          A foreigner writing in hyper-correct English would have used the subjunctive case here (“remain”), like you say.

          But most Americans don’t use this case in spoken speech and might not be aware of it. They just use the regular present tense case.

          Ditto with the “would” versus “will” thing that was pointed out by Mark. Colloquially, Americans say things like: “If he gets fired, then this will be a calamity for his family.”
          They might also say “would” in this context, though. Either one.

          I personally suspect that Durbin wrote the letter himself (not using his usual speechwriter or secretary,due to the sensitive nature of the material), and employed his own colloquial speaking style, with just a few bloviating literary flourishes, and the compound sentence structure which he likes so much.

          But that’s just my opinion. Nobody really knows if the letter is genuine.
          (With the exception of Durbin, Yatsenyuk, and a handful of other people!)

          But, by the same token, nobody knows if the letter is a forgery.
          And yet the Western MSM is just rushing with that meme and stating it like it’s a triusm!

  24. Northern Star says:

    @ Oberstgruppenfuhrer TJ:

    If -as you alleged-there is a positive correlation between colder climes and higher IQ…then how do you account for this:

    http://www.darkmoon.me/2012/world-iq-figures-with-brief-notes-on-ashkenazi-jews-and-the-khazarian-thesis-of-koestler-by-lasha-darkmoon/

    • kirill says:

      IQ is a broken concept. Also, trying to assign it to whole races is just wrong. As David Suzuki noted in another context the genetic variation within races can be greater than between them. The same goes for intelligence.

      Perhaps some displaced ethnic groups thanks to their rough history have been filtered towards a higher intelligence average. But there is nothing about living in the high latitudes that would select for intelligence to the same degree. However, it would greatly affect the social evolution since the growing season is short and planning is required. Without some essentials, people would freeze to death. In the tropics they can survive with much less organization.

      • Jen says:

        Aboriginal people living in very high latitudes (the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions) are usually hunter-gatherers (Inuit, Yupik) or at most herd and follow reindeer (Saami, Nenets). Growing food is impossible due to the cold, thin soil cover and very little sunlight during long winters. Any long-term organisation for food storage they have revolves around animal migrations (including whale migrations) and a short growing season.

        • kirill says:

          Yes, some sort of agriculture is required to start societies down the path of civilization. This applies to the “tropical” Tigris and Euphrates fertile river valley. In the New World it was the low latitudes the supported advanced civilizations (Inca, Maya) while the high latitudes in both North and South America were populated by hunter gatherers.

          • Jen says:

            In most places where civilisation began, the climate tends to be dry for a large part of the year and this forces people to settle near areas where water supply is regular, such as a river or a lake with groundwater sources. Hunter-gatherer lifestyles are not possible because animals would start avoiding areas where humans are congregating and local vegetation isn’t enough to support everyone so people start husbanding animals and growing grain crops on a large scale, and these activities require building fences around animals and, most importantly, irrigation for plants. Most early civilisations have started near major rivers: the Nile in Egypt, the Indus in the Indian sub-continent, the Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East, the Huang He and Yangzi in China, and the Mississippi (where there was a civilisation centred around mound-building) in the US. The early Peruvian civilisations started in and around the Atacama desert.

            Agriculture had an early start in Papua New Guinea: people started growing sugar cane and bananas in that part of the world about 7,000 years ago which makes PNG farming almost as old as farming in the Middle East, and they were using irrigation about 3,000 years ago.
            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0623_030623_kukagriculture.html

            There was even some agriculture in Australia before the arrival of Europeans: the Gunditjmara people in SW Victoria were farming and harvesting eels using a system of weirs, canals and fish traps (some of these traps being woven baskets) that changed large parts of the landscape. The Gunditjmara are the only known Aboriginal people to have lived in permanent settlements and to have a hierarchical society based around hereditary chiefs.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunditjmara
            https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/portal/system/files/engineering-heritage-australia/nomination-title/Budj%20Bim%20Lake%20Condah%20Nomination.pdf

            • astabada says:

              Hi Jen,

              thank you for the links! Another example of the old and glorious settler tradition to eradicate & dismiss. Since my arrival here literally everyone I’ve met thinks Aboriginals were hunter-gatherers only.

          • astabada says:

            Dear kirill,

            when you say the high latitudes in both North and South America were populated by hunter gatherers.

            I am not sure what do you mean precisely by high latitudes. Just in case you meant to include the US, and to say that Natives in present day US were hunters-gatherers only, that statement is 100% incorrect.
            There were several peoples living off agriculture in what is now Southern USA. Because farmers are bound to their land (i.e. cannot escape without forfeiting their food supply) they were the first to be exterminated by white settlers. The Europeans were so efficient that there is very little documentation left. Traces emerge here and there on the internet, see e.g. this highly incomplete article. The same encyclopedia however does not have any reference to this topic in the article about the history of agriculture in the USA.

            I mentioned one of the reasons for this state of affairs: the settlers eradicated these peoples so swiftly and completely that is very hard to find any trace worth studying.
            The other reason is of course that many people (as late as e.g. Teddy Roosevelt) deemed the Native Americans unworthy of surviving because they were still a hunter-gatherer society.

            • Cortes says:

              Cabeza de Vaca’s account of his peregrinations in the late 1520s through what are now the southeastmost states of the US makes clear that many of the people he encountered were indeed very primitive hunter gatherers with the emphasis on gathering rather than hunting. He may have been mistaken, of course, or been guilty of misrepresentation. Or referring to arid regions west of the Mississippi.

            • Jen says:

              Kirill is correct: the high latitudes are areas north of 50 degrees north in the Northern Hemisphere and areas south of 50 degrees south in the Southern Hemisphere. Indigenous people living that far north and beyond in North America were mostly hunters and gatherers: these were people like the Naskapi and Montagnais in eastern Canada and the Athapaskans in the subarctic. In South America, the natives living south of 50 degrees south were again hunter-gatherers, the best known of these being Yaghans and Ona living in Tierra del Fuego who hunted seals and gathered shellfish.

              You are right though that settled societies collapsed quickly on contact with Europeans. Smallpox and other infectious diseases would have swept through and killed everyone off quickly, more so than for hunter-gatherers because the latter can move away and their population density in a given territory is low. Also settled people might have a hierarchy with a hereditary leadership and if that leadership is killed off, the effect is like decapitating someone and replacing the old head with a new one: the Europeans would simply replace the old chieftains with their colonial administration. This happened with the Inca people.

    • Jen says:

      Woooh … that Lasha Darkmoon is a regular commentator on the Occidental Observer website.

    • astabada says:

      Usually when I see data with no errors quoted I just stop reading halfway.

      And this is no exception.

      Is an IQ of 85 lower than 90? I don’t know – nobody knows. 85+-1 is less than 90+-1, but not so for 85+-10 and 90+-10. It could be a statistical fluke.

      Another important point is: how representative is the sample for each entry? How do you correct for differences between education levels in different countries?

  25. yalensis says:

    And OMG the Lamestream Media are pouring it on now, it took them a full day and half to react, but now they are on over-drive:

    http://abc7chicago.com/news/whodunit-hoax-durbin-letter-aims-to-disrupt-ukraine/832079/

    “Odd punctuation and awkward grammar” (2:33 minutes in).
    What the heck are they talking about?
    I just re-read the “hoax” letter. Punctuation and grammar are perfect. Every period and comma where it is supposed to be.
    Are they just assuming that the vast majority of “bydlo” out there won’t bother to get online and read the “hoax” letter for themselves?

    • Terje says:

      A few weeks ago there was a similar leaked letter between Vladimir Groysman of the Ukrainian Parliament and the American embassy in Oslo, Norway. The letter concerned a possible nomination of Poroshenko for the Nobel Peace Prize.
      The Ukrainian side, for what it is worth, called the letter a 100% forgery.
      Emilie Bruchon, press spokeswoman at the American embassy gave this statement: “We believe the letter is a fabrication, and a dishonest attempt to make up a story.” (But not categorically denying it We believe in stead of it is

      • marknesop says:

        That one I believe was genuine. If it had been proven a fake the west would have never shut up about how somebody (cough* the Russians cough*) had tried to smear poor, honest Poroshenko. For his part, Porkshanks would have come out with a “Nobel Prize” line from Roshen chocolates if the rubes had gone for it. Shame is not in his vocabulary.

    • et Al says:

      My very late contribution to this little debate.

      I would have written I concur that… rather than I concur, that…. Besides also looked very out of place for such a formal letter (as ME pointed out), but I also agree that if it was written quickly by one of Durbin’s monkeys then such errors are no proof. It does sound labored though…

  26. yalensis says:

    “The title Assistant Minority Leader is never used,” according to the new talking point.

    Quick, everybody!
    Take screenshots and bookmark this wiki page before they have time to edit it:

    “The Senate is currently composed of 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats.

    The current leaders are Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. The current Assistant Majority Leader is Republican John Cornyn of Texas. The current Assistant Minority Leader is Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois.”

    [emphasis mine]

  27. kirill says:

    Continuing the the discussion above about Halichyna. The current Banderatard crop of criminals has no real historical link to the principality that existed there during the Kievan Rus period. The name stayed but the original character disappeared. That they bark at somebody for spelling it wrong is a load of BS. The only thing that defines the culture and identity of these losers is Stepan Bandera.

  28. Patient Observer says:

    More evidence that Russia is Nigeria with snow:
    http://rt.com/news/271774-russian-scientists-dna-repair/

    • Jen says:

      Here’s a scan of Senator Durbin’s letter to Ratsenyuk:

      • kat kan says:

        The one line starting with “Besides” is in smaller font, and the line is still longer, overhanging the right margin line.

        The whole letter reads like it was copy/pasted from standard phrases. An odd line like that may have been pasted over the original first line, on the photocopy,, not the original.

        To me, the sentence “Yet, there is no clear-cut solution….” reads as…..”despite how easy the other problem is….” NOT as “no solution at this time”. It that too sophisticated for them?

        • Jen says:

          No, that first line in the second paragraph looks like a fold in the page as it was being scanned. The line looks longer because the whole letter has not been justified (made even, that is, for the sake of appearance) for printing.

          BTW, I have found another letter from Senator Richard Durbin, dated 2004, I’ll post it here and let you all look and compare the two:

          Note the second letter is justified and the signature looks different.

          • yalensis says:

            Thanks, Jen!
            Some actual data, god bless you!

            Okay, here is my theory (I am still playing devil’s advocate, somewhat).
            Postulating that the Durbin letter to Yatsenyuk is authentic, then how to explain the differences in font, justification, etc.

            (1) That was back in 2004, and he used a different Microsoft Word template, which automatically used both left- and right-justification of paragraphs. Nowadays, he doesn’t use that template any more.
            (2) For his regular correspondence, he has a secretary type and print the letters for him. For the Yatsenyuk letter, he typed it himself (because of the sensitive nature of the material), and he didn’t know how to set paragraph formatting.
            (3) As for the signature, I dunno, they look the same to me, but I am not a handwriting expert. In any case, the Senators use a rubber stamp to stamp their signatures onto the letter. Maybe for the Yatsenyuk letter, Durbin was rummaging around in his secretary’s desk, couldn’t find the stamp, and just signed it himself, with a pen (?) Which explains why it might be slightly different.

            In any case, the “authentic” theory depends on the corollary that Nalivaychenko took a hardcopy of the letter for his own files. Then this copy was re-scanned. Which is why it is so fuzzy. The corollary is that Nalivaychenko was so pissed off about being fired, that he swore revenge and launched his campaign of total payback.

            Problem is, the matter is now in the hands of the CIA/FBI, and Nalivaychenko might be sorry he didn’t just go gently into that good night.
            Especially if he ends up dead on the Kiev street corner, with a bullet in his brain!

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, the chatty flow of this one sounds more natural, and considering the amount of meat in the one purported to be a fake, it seems all business. Durbin seems rarely to strike anything like an instructive tone in his letters to foreign entities (although admittedly I have not read many), and in this example he is low-key supportive. The other letter looks more and more to me like a fake, but perhaps I’m just convincing myself.

            However, I maintain that what is significant about the other one is that if it is a fake, it was plainly faked by the Ukrainians, or at least by a faction within Ukraine. This might go far toward explaining why it took Durbin so long to respond. The USA might be waking up to the fact that the Kievsters will do anything for power, and betray anyone necessary.

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    Latest shock-horror news from Fox:

    Fox: Путин поздравил Обаму и заодно проверил оборону США

    Fox: Putin congratulates Obama and at the same time probes US defences

    I mean …how evil can one get!!!

    And on American Independence Day as well, when the whole free world is overwhelmed with joy as regards the birth of the Exceptional Nation.

    By the way, that’s the fist time I’ve noticed this pronunciation of Putin’s name as “Put’n” by US media hacks, something that has been commented on before.

    • yalensis says:

      All Americans that I have ever heard say his name pronounce “Putin” with the glottal stop.
      Ditto words like “gluten”, etc.
      I think that’s common both in regular American dialect and also African-American dialect.

    • marknesop says:

      That just sounds like that reporter’s particular delivery rather than the affected “California Valley Girl” speech of Liz Wahl. This reporter just slurs the “t” a little bit, which is common in North American speech. Liz Wahl makes a new word of it – “Pu’in” by dropping the “t” altogether and putting a plosive semi-exhale in its place, and it is deliberate and not a natural speech pattern. It’s an affectation, the way the wannabe gangster crowd says “ge’in” for “getting”, or “swe’in” for “sweating”.

      It’s curious that the fighters scrambled to meet the ancient Tupolevs are never referred to as “warplanes”, although the press used to refer to “U.S. warplanes” during the Iraq adventure. That seems to be a refinement the press has introduced whereby one’s own aircraft are apparently exclusively defensive. Once again, the Russian aircraft did not enter U.S. airspace, although they could accurately be said to have “probed U.S. defenses”, since their passage elicited a military response.

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Прощание с “хероем” Фашизма нет!

    Депутат Верховной Рады пришел на торжественные похороны лидера эсесовцев. В Ивано-Франковске похоронили главу «Братства Першої української дивізії Української національної армії» (более известной, как Дивизия СС «Галичина») Евгена Куцика.

    На его похоронах присутствовал сын командующего коллаборационистской УПА Романа Шухевича — нардеп Юрий Шухевич, а также оставшиеся в живых ветераны-эсэсовцы и их современные последователи из тягнибоковского «Легиона Свободы», ныне воюющего на Донбассе.

    “Почетный караул” был одет в форму гитлеровской Германии. Формально нынешнее законодательство Украинского Государства, где есть статья «о запрете пропаганды символики нацистского и советского тоталитарных режимов», не позволяет наказать участников торжественного захоронения. Дело в том, что из Уголовного кодекса Верховная Рада по странному стечению обстоятельств исключила пункт о запрете прославления пособников Вермахта и формирований «Ваффен-СС».

    It’s not a farewell to a fascist “hero”!

    A deputy to the Verkhovna Rada has attended the solemn funeral of an SS leader. In Ivano-Frankivsk has been buried Yevgeniy Kutsik, head of the “Veterans of the First Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army” (better known as the SS-Division “Galitsia”).

    His funeral was attended by the son of the collaborationist Roman Shukhevych, the commander of the Ukrainian Army of Insurrection, People’s Deputy Yuriy Shukhevych, and surviving veterans of the SS together with their modern followers, Tyahnibok’s “Legion of Liberty”, now fighting in the Donbass.

    The “Honour Guard” was dressed in the uniform of Hitler’s Germany. Officially, according to the current Ukrainian state legislation, there is an article “banning propaganda using the symbolism of the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes”, which does not allow the punishment of those attending a solemn burial. The fact is, however, that from the Criminal Code of the Verkhovna Rada there has, by strange coincidence, been removed a clause banning the glorification of supporters of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS.

    Nazis?

    What Nazis?

    Where?

    When?

    Remember their faces!

    Source: http://vk.com/anti_maydan?w=wall-62241455_3276331

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Are those US vets in the smart uniforms, or are they just Yukies aping their US heroes?

      I’ve never seen vets here or in the Ukraine wearing such US-vets-style forage caps.

      Here are some Ukrainian Red Army vets pictured this year:

      • kat kan says:

        Why did Soviet uniforms have those enormous supersize caps?

        • marknesop says:

          Just individual taste, I guess. They still do, by the way.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          They didn’t. Those super-size caps were not worn during the Great Patriotic War. They were introduced in the ’90s under Boris the Drunk. They commissioned a fashion designer to restyle the old Red Army gear. That’s why you have the presidential Honour Guard at the Kremlin tarted up like chocolate soldiers now.

          Red Army during WWII:

          Chocolate Soldier dress uniforms uniform now used at Kremlin:

          • marknesop says:

            Those look like pretty normal-sized caps to me; I think the huge ones are mostly the Navy, like this. And what makes them look that way is mostly the back of the cap. We took a bunch of foreign navy officers up the river once from the language school at St Jean to Montreal, in HMCS VANCOUVER, back when she was fairly new. You could spot the Russians right away because of their huge hats, which looked the size of a garbage can lid, and we reckoned they must have had powerful necks because if the wind ever took one of those it would rip your head clean off otherwise.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Yes, they have a big overhang at the back, as do ratings’ caps all round:

              Those above are of the Pacific Fleet.

              I think the officers’ peaked caps were redesigned in the ’90s with an especially high frontage because they for some unfathonable reason (to my mind, anyway) have pinned to them both the Red Army star symbol and the double-headed imperial eagle of the Romanovs, thus:

              1944:

  31. Phil K says:

    I wanted to add a bit to the Galicia-Galatia discussion above, without taking things too far off topic, I hope.

    Basically, the Spanish language is what happened to Latin among the Iberian Visigoths, and a language called Galatian is what happened to Latin among the Iberian Celts. In a part of the Galatian-speaking territory, there arose a duchy called Portugal, which evolved into a kingdom, with help from the English, who wanted a little friend on the Iberian peninsula. Because of this kingdom, the Galatian spoken in Portugal became known as “Portuguese”.

    The Galatian spoken in Spain, outside of Portugal, is now called “Gallego” (the Spanish equivalent of the English word “Gallic”). It’s both a dialect of the Portuguese language, and a dialect of the Spanish nation, with a Madrid-imposed Castillian orthography.

    • Cortes says:

      Castilian is Latin as transformed by Euskera (Basque) and interaction with varying degrees of exposure to North African Arabic.. Louis Martin Santos’s’s excellent novel “Tiempo del silencio ” details this very well. the galego of Galicia is basically bastardised Portuguese which in turn appears to me to be an especially rural form of Iberian Romance. Odd that Brazilian Portuguese is so much more comprehensible than Peninsular strain.

  32. Other EU members have been quite vocally criticizing Finland’s decision to ban an entry of Russian OSCE team members. It seems that Finland was not obliged to make this decision but chose to go with this path. It appears that Finland, along with Baltic states and Poland, were in opposition of letting the Russian OSCE team enter the OSCE summit in Helsinki.

  33. Cortes says:

    http://rt.com/news/272323-pamela-anderson-putin-letter/

    Further to earlier posts about her activism (remarkable that she has not been subjected to the same vilification/ridicule as Margot Kidder)

    • marknesop says:

      I would support this, too; the Japanese are one of the last cultures to still eat whales. Canada granted licenses to the west coast natives (I forget what band it was now) to take two Gray whales per year for food; the first year was a big deal, very polarized with the natives victorious and the hunt covered moment by moment, while those opposing it were sickened. But the meat is apparently very greasy and quite an acquired taste, and I don’t think it was to the liking of most of the native population. Enthusiasm waned quickly and if they held a hunt in succeeding years, it didn’t make the news. I think whaling should be stopped altogether.

      I see Ms. Anderson has kept her looks well, she’s still a very attractive woman.

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    I’m commuting betwen my estates and my town house at the moment. My wife and daughters are out in the country, whereas the young master, Vladimir Denisovich, is holding the fort here whilst I am at work or travelling.

    He had been up half the night last night surfing the web, and this morning, after I had arrived home, he told me of the latest jibes that he is now getting from the trolls. If you recall, he was upset the other week at constantly being referred to as a retard and was puzzled why some of his interlocutors wish that Hitler had been victorious against the USSR.

    Now they’ve adopted a different tack: it sems they tell him he is not European, not “white”, that Russians are Asiatic, that they are Mongols.

    “Why do they say that”, he aks me, genuinely perplexed.

    Vladimir is 16 years old in 3 weeks. Already, for over a year now, he has been the same height as I am – 6’2″ (1.88m). He has fair hair, a fair complexion and blue eyes. He is a clone of my sister’s son, my nephew, who is 6’5″ (1.96m). My nephew shot past me heightwise when he was 16 as well.

    I must have been giving that boy too much beef!

    He certainly is no Mongol-Tatar, though – not that there is anything wrong with Mongol-Tatars, I should add.

    • Cortes says:

      Varangian bastards!

      From a western seaboard Celt (sort of). Cue Dexy doing “My National Pride ” 😎

    • Cortes says:

      Hopefully your giving the boy “beef” will be non Anglais. Too much of that already, say the victims of Lord Janner

      • Moscow Exile says:

        It’s all from Brazil, I was told ages ago by a girl I know who works for Maersk Logistics – in Moscow she reckons it is, anyway. She was in the beef importation field and told me that the presence of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or “Mad Cow Disease”) was negligible in Brazil and that according to OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), Brazil´s risk status for BSE is the safest of all.

        When I lived in England, I used to see wagon load of Scotch Angus steak heading south down the M6 – all bound for export to France. The steaks used to occassionally fall off wagons and appear for sale in pubs round where I lived.

        Same used to happen with Scotch.

        This banditry happened so frequently that they stopped advertizing on the sides of the Juggernauts what they were carrying – travelling imcognito as it were.

    • marknesop says:

      Simpletons just look for a button to push that will get a reaction. I should add that many if not most of them are not Ukrainian, or only distantly associated; rather, they are good old North American Caucasians who buy into Washington’s unforgivable propaganda and believe they are fighting the good fight.

  35. Pingback: Hello; I’m From the European Council on Foreign Relations – I Hear You Have a Bridge For Sale. | The Kremlin Stooge

  36. Pingback: European Council on Foreign Relations an American-Inspired Hotbed of Russia Hatred | Timber Exec

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